Just Do It!

This post could really be over with the title. That’s my biggest bit of advice to someone who wants to start writing: just do it. You’ll never be a writer unless you write. So if you want to be a writer, write!

I’ll admit, it took me quite a while to figure this out. For years, writing was a dream, a distant speck on the horizon. “Someday” I thought I might want to write something. I wasn’t sure if I could handle a novel, even though I wanted to, so maybe it would be non-fiction. But it would be something. But I never did anything about it.

Until one day, I did. I just took one of the ideas I had and started to make a story out of it.

I know that the first step seems like the hardest one, but there’s really no advice I can give you beyond just getting started. There are, however, a few different methods of getting started.

1. You can literally start writing at a random point in your story. Just start writing anything, any scene, with any character you might have floating around in your head. Fill in details as you go and figure out where the scene fits later. Even if you never use what you write in the finished story, at least it got you started.

2.If that’s a bit too random for you, start at the beginning. Start writing the very first scene of your story and see where it goes. Maybe more inspiration will hit you as you write, or maybe you’ll find that the story wasn’t quite as good as it sounded in your head. Either way, you learned something.

Maybe you’re like me and you’ve heard that advice over and over again but it just doesn’t help you. Some of us can’t just sit down and start writing a novel. We know that we’re never likely to make any coherent out of the mess that would pour forth from such an ill-planned undertaking. If that’s you, don’t worry. There’s a third approach to just-do-it.

3. Start planning. You’ve got an idea, maybe it’s small, but it’s something. So write it down. Then figure out the characters you need to make that idea a story and write them down. Grow the story around those characters and how they react to the events in the story. You’ll find pretty quickly that your characters feed your story and your story feeds your characters until you’ve got a full-blown novel planned out.

Whatever the specifics, the biggest take-away is to sit down and start writing. Something. A chapter, a scene, a character description, a vague synopsis. If you never start, you’ll never finish. So close your internet browser and go write something.

Seriously, why are you still reading this?

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